by Tommy Underhill
October 17, 2018
A few years ago I heard a story of a someone who discovered she had bedbugs. She lived in a beautiful apartment in New York City, and bed bugs were much more than just an annoying pest — a bed bug infestation is comparable to a modern-day scarlet letter. This young lady told me she would have been shunned by friends and barred from visiting people if word got out that she had bedbugs. Her fear of being black-listed was evident as she spoke with me. If you haven’t experienced the taint of bed bugs in New York City, you don’t know how distressing it can be.
She frantically tried everything she could think of: sprays, steam, an exterminator who promised he “would take care of it”. Weeks went by and — in spite of everything she did — the bed bugs persisted. Her fear of being discovered began to take over her life.
She eventually heard that heat kills bed bugs, so she closed the curtains and rented a heat chamber for a couple of weeks. She heated around the clock. As much as would fit went in and got heated to lethal temperatures: clothes, mattress and box spring, chairs, couch, rug. She would find plenty of dead bed bugs in items that came out of the heat tent.
But the problem wouldn’t go away. The bedbugs were worse than a bad penny. The muggy heat of summer grew, and she started wearing long-sleeve collard shirts to hide the bites.
Understanding bed bugs
What so many people fail to realize is that the name “bed bug” is misleading. Bedbugs don’t just live in your bed. In fact, they will inhabit and harbor almost everywhere we frequent. Hoping to not be too blunt, that means you will never get rid of a bed bug infestation until you treat your entire environment from the walls to the furnishings and everywhere in between. That means...
• Under and behind your bed
• In cracks and crevices along your baseboards
• In the hard-to-see places in dressers
• Behind artwork hanging on the wall
• In the dark recesses of your couch where you find your car keys
• Under and inside the coffee table in the living room
• In your dirty laundry hamper
• Under and around your washer and dryer
• Inside drawers
• In the closet and under clothes
• Under the vanity
• Within the wall void of inner and outer walls
• Between baseboards and carpeting, especially in corners
• In a crawlspace, sub-area or attic
• And every other place you can fit a shelled sunflower seed
If you successfully only kill all the bed bugs of all mobile life stages (the ones that have already hatched), the problem will return within a couple of weeks when the existing eggs hatch. If you are not successful in killing all the mobile bed bugs, it only takes a breeding pair to recreate the colony. Anything less than a 100% kill of all bedbugs and eggs will not end the infestation or your frustration.
We get a 100% kill every time
Heat kills insects and their eggs naturally. Temperature measurement is the key in knowing we achieved a 100% kill. The cool, dark places where bed bugs hide and lay their eggs must be raised to 140°F and held for at least two hours. Bed bugs don’t live on the surface of our world, they inhabit the spaces deep within our stuff. We know we’ve reached lethal temperatures because we measure at the hardest-to-heat locations. TRS offers emergency bed bug extermination services, free bug identification, and general pest control.